PM Articles by Project Times.
Organizations around the world carry out projects that are purposeful to their causes and ultimately provide them a means to accomplish their objectives.
However, one of the biggest challenges considered to carry out successful projects is to make sure that they are completed on schedule, remain within the predefined budgets, and show little to no disparity between the actual and calculated quality of work. Therefore, projects are an extensive undertaking, and the one managing all the responsibility is none other than an assigned project manager. Things can get pretty stressful at times, to say the least.
According to a study posted on Workamajig.com, only 58% of organizations fully grasp the value of project management, whereas 93% of them utilize standard project management practices. Hence, there is no doubt that there is a need to help project managers formulate strategies that they can implement to accomplish their goals and targets successfully. In this post, we offer you some of the best ways through which a project manager can ensure triumph over all odds while responding to their duties. So let’s take a quick look at each one of them:
Best Strategies to Manage your Projects
· Always Choose the Right Resource
There is a great deal of emphasis made by several project managers that failure to choose the right resource can affect not only your overall productivity but can also dampen the quality of work that you produce. Choosing the right resource over here means the best option for each particular task or sub-task that allows you to deliver sub-goals and main objectives in less time, cost, and better quality. Evaluate your options and pick the ones that reduce your time taken to complete the task, is less expensive, and delivers the standard of work that is above your desired expectations.
· Celebrate Incremental Achievements
Motivating your team members and keeping them high spirited through the project is highly important. At times you will find many milestones lying ahead of you in a project before it reaches its completion. Identification of these milestones is important, and this is where the project manager needs to do their part. However, once a milestone is achieved, you need to make sure that there is some sort of celebration. This will allow your team members and the workers involved to blow off some steam as well as rejuvenate themselves as well. Projects can be long and tedious, positive reinforcements in between keep your team enthusiastic and passionate to reach the end goal.
· Finalize Everything on Paper
Without a proper plan or study of what kind of journey you’re going to embark on, there is no need to make efforts. First and foremost, you need to point out all the necessary details and get them in writing. This will allow you to keep a record for safekeeping as well as your line of reference before the initiation of the project. Having things jotted down also offers you a solid position to look back on so that if you find yourself currently deviating from the actual pathway, you can redirect yourselves and your team to the correct track of things.
· Determine Methodologies
Popular methodologies for project management include Agile, Lean, Kanban, Scrum, Six Sigma, and Waterfall. Each methodology focuses on different aspects of a project, undertakings, and apply various approaches to get things done in an orderly manner. Each methodology also offers quite an extensive list of mechanism which needs more time and space to discuss in detail. They all require a separate discussion in their own right, to say the least. Plus, you can also find a lot of material online to increase your pool of knowledge about them.
There is a reason why we are asking you to perform this seemingly mundane task. First of all, defining roles is adamant to keeping your staff in-line with their duties. They need to be held accountable and responsible for the different tasks they have been assigned under your leadership. Plus, defining roles also helps you set the hierarchy and the line of command for your teams. This means irrelevant communications and wastage of time in being idol can be avoided. Roles should be clearly defined so that they relay important information for every member and worker who is taking part in the project.
· Keep Track of Milestones
Tracking milestones are essential as you need to validate how far you and your team have come since the beginning of the project. It can also offer you reassurance if you are following the right track and keeping up with the predefined schedule for the project’s sub-tasks and main tasks. Lastly, it can also help you to increase the intensity of your efforts if you find yourself lagging behind. Thus you will know when to work hard and when to give your team a bit of refreshment so that they can recharge their energies—knowing the difference between the two matters a lot since it can help you keep things functioning in proper order.
· Monitoring & Controlling Operations
If you need to measure your team’s performance, then you need to create a yardstick to which you can compare their efforts. Monitoring and controlling your team’s input and output allows you to understand your day-to-day operations’ various strengths and weaknesses. There are several ways you can do this. Like for example, you can have a benchmark analysis or set strict standards that your team needs to abide by under all circumstances.
· Project Budget vs Project Scope
The project budget allows you to cater to your financial needs and requirements for completing the project. In contrast, the project scope defines the parameters and boundaries for you and your team who have undertaken the project. This can include various tasks that need to be completed. Combine the two, and you get a comparative analysis or a liner graph on which you can study how your team is performing. Not only do you have to keep in line with the predefined budget, but also make sure that your initially planned project’s scope remains unharmed.
· Stakeholder Expectations
The ones who provide you with the duty to complete the project often have something huge at stake. These stakeholders have certain expectations. You must know these anticipated values. However, if you take the directions from your stakeholders to manage your project, make sure they are extensive and detailed. The more information you have, the less disparity will be there at the end when the project is completed. If you follow this approach, you need to make sure that you gratify every stakeholder’s expectations; otherwise, you might not receive that pat on the back you were expecting from them.
· Utilize Analysis and Evaluations
Lastly, there are several ways to analyze and evaluate your performance for a project. Analysis can include risk, financial, and PERT, to name a few. For your evaluations, you can apply the Internal Rate of Return, Net Present Value, Payback Method, and Profitability Index apart from various other techniques.
Managing projects are not an easy task, and that is why not every gifted manager can be requested to become a project manager. There is, at times, a lot of financial investment and risk involved in projects, which is why you need a very mature person who has shown a brilliant track record in the past, to be asked to undertake this huge responsibility. Stakeholders are impossible to deal with if the project does not deliver according to their anticipations and fails to gratify their requirements. We hope this post was able to offer you enough strategies to go all out and make your projects successful.